Living Under Water
Because some people don’t realize this, and others do but find me talking about it helpful:
I am an introvert. Going to a Con (or any large gathering) is emotionally exhausting. Being with people I *like* wears me down. When posting online, I feel like I have to be “on” somehow, like there’s a battery of social energy I am draining, and when it’s gone, I have to hide under my desk.
For a long time, I didn’t have any idea how to cope with this. And as a result, I often turned down social invitations, because to me if I didn’t want an alcoholic drink, there was no point in “going drinking” with colleagues. Eventually, I realized that other people form bonds during these social events, and by excluding myself from all of them, I was both cutting myself off from the experiences of life, and severely hurting my career.
It’s not that I “don’t want” to be social, it’s that it’s entirely foreign to me, like living underwater, and I can only “hold my breath” for so long. I have taken 20 years to learn how to cope with this issue. And, some days, I still can’t.
But I do think I’m a little better at it than I was yesterday, and I believe I’ll be a little better tomorrow.
Unless I’m not, in which case I’ll huddle in a pillow fort, and wait until I’m not so introvertical.